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Screensaver GPO by computer OU

Posted on 2010-08-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I'm trying to force a specific screensaver, but I only want it to go on computers in a certain OU.  This is on Server 2008 and windows 7 machines.  See attached image for the GPO.  On the target computers the screensaver still shows none.  Everyone that logs in does have the S: drive and read access to that location as well.  Any suggestions?

Thanks
screensaver.JPG
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Question by:sjsell
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by:Darius Ghassem
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The reason is the screensaver is a user policy not a computer policy so it is applied to Users not computers.

You can try settings up loopback processing.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/231287

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc782810(WS.10).aspx

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/File_Servers/Active_Directory/A_1876.html
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by:jlanderson1
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Well..this is a user policy, so it would apply to USERS in an OU.  If you apply this to a COMPUTER OU, it will not apply to users.

So, for example, if this were for the Accounting computers, could you organize the OU's like this....?

Accounting
    |-> COMPUTERS
    |-> USERS

You could then apply this to the "Accounting OU", and it would apply to the Users.  Granted, this will apply to those users if they logged into other computers not in that OU....but, would this still serve your purpose?
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by:jlanderson1
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Loopback processing typically works in the opposite way.  You would enable loopback on a Server such as Citrix or Terminal Server to apply the users' policies.  I don't believe it works in this case.
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by:sjsell
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I have loopback processing enabled (see screen shot) as far as I can tell.  I have it in merge mode.  Am I missing anything else?

Thanks for the articles
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by:sjsell
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@jlanderson1:   I wanted to avoid setting it to users.  It is a screensaver that the Learning Resource Centers director created and she wants it playing on the computers in the Learning Resource Center.  We don't really want it playing on all computers in the school.  If there's no other way I will discuss it with her to see if that is ok.
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by:jlanderson1
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If you do try loopback...which I use in our Citrix environment...go here....

 In Group Policy Editor:

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Group Policy\User Group Policy loopback processing mode

***Set this value to Merge, so other policies you have applied to the Users take effect.***
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by:Krzysztof Pytko
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I always wonder why people want to use screen savers for PCs not for users. Could you explain me, please? Thank you in advance :)
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by:jlanderson1
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sjsell...sorry...I didn't see your post with the loopback.  Have you tried to use the UNC path to the screensaver instead of a mapped drive letter?  Also, you could test this with a local screensaver, just to make sure it is not a network issue.  If the local screensaver works, I would then test with UNC.
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by:Krzysztof Pytko
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You can set up this settings to particular group of users and use group policy filtering. I think it's the most simple method

http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Group-Policy-Security-Filtering.html
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by:Darius Ghassem
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Loopback will work no matter if it is a TS, Citrix or normal servers.
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by:sjsell
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@iSiek:  We are a school and our students log into multiple PC's around the school.  We have a learning Resource Center (LRC) and only want the screensaver playing on those computers no matter who logs in.  We do not want that screensaver playing on all the computers at the school.  It's not a huge deal if it does play on all, it's just if we can have it only playing on the LRC's machines that is what we would prefer.
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by:jlanderson1
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iSiek...If you have, for example, computers in an HR Department, you would want a screensaver policy with password protection, regardless of who is logged into it.  In instances like this, you would want this to apply to computers.
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by:sjsell
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Wow, so much information in such a short amount of time :)   I will read through everything and test using UNC path instead this morning and let you all know.

Thanks for the fast responses.
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by:Krzysztof Pytko
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Thank you for explanation :) So, the only choice is a loopback processing as dariusq wrote.
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by:jlanderson1
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It looks like, if you don't want to use User Policies, you should use the Loopback policy which wasn't your issue, because you were already using it.  But, I think the UNC will probably solve your issue.
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by:sjsell
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UNC path did not resolve the issue, but during testing a defeating light bulb turned on in my head.  Getting this to work for a user logged on to the computer doesn't actually do what I need.  Thinking about it I realized I want the screensaver to be playing when nobody is logged in.  So I need it to play when it's at the CTRL-ALT-DEL screen.  How do I go about doing that?  

Thanks
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by:Darius Ghassem
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You will need to go to Power Options and set the setting here which will make the monitor turn off.

http://www.eggheadcafe.com/software/aspnet/29874483/gpo-to-force-screen-saver-on-login-screen.aspx
http://www.theeldergeek.com/logon_screen_saver.htm
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by:sjsell
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I have added the registry keys and it appears to launch the screen saver (we have slides as the screen saver) but it just displays black screens  I'm assuming it is not going into any powersave mode cause the monitor light stays green instead of going to amber like it does when it goes into powersave mode.  I have tested the screen saver while logged in and it works fine.  
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by:sjsell
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Don't know if it matters or not, but I am using the Photoscreensaver.scr.  I have attached 3 screenshots one showing the registry settings, the next showing the screensaver.scr configuration and the third showing the permissions where the slides are kept.  They are all in .bmp format as that is what Powerpoint created them as.  I have tried changing the ScreenSaveIsSecure in the registry to a 1 as well rebooting and still displays a black screen.
screensaver.jpg
Screensaversettings.jpg
Folderpermissions.jpg
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by:Darius Ghassem
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So, you are getting a black screen?
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by:sjsell
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Yes.  after 10 seconds the screen goes black (monitor light stays green)  I found this post on
http://help.lockergnome.com/general/windows-logon-screensaver--ftopict64047.html
To enable the screensaver, first choose the screensaver you want. Look in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 for files with the .SCR extension - typically there are the following (at least on my Enterprise Installation)...

- SSTEXT3D - 3D Text
- BUBBLES.SCR - Bubbles
- MYSTIFY.SCR - Mystify
- PHOTOSCREENSAVER.SCR - Photos
- RIBBONS.SCR - Ribbons

One of the things to be aware of is that you don't appear to have Direct3D support at the logon screen so the builtin screensavers above won't work. Unless you have another file you might want to grab the LOGON.SCR file from an earlier operating system.

Looks like I can not use the Photoscreensaver.scr cause it requires Direct3d support.  Any suggestions so I can use photos as the prelogon screen saver.

Thanks
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Darius Ghassem earned 200 total points
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by:sjsell
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Thanks.  I found this
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:KHoubLf0BlYJ:www.insidetheregistry.com/content/viewarticle.aspx%3Farticleid%3D1824+logon+screensaver+windows+7+photos&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
and have been testing it. Will let you all know the results....wouldn't expect a fricken screensaver to be so difficult to get working hehe.
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by:sjsell
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GOT IT.  First I ignored the registry settings in my link and then it was showing no files found in c:\windows.  Changed the registry settings and it all works now.

Thanks all for the help.
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by:sjsell
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Thank you all for the help.  
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